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To the Class of 2020

To the graduating seniors in the Class of 2020:

This isn’t the way it was supposed to be. You already know that. But let’s put it on the record: This isn’t the way it was supposed to be and that really sucks.

You had plans for spring sports, musicals, concerts, dances, and graduations. One minute it was normal. And the next it’s, well, this. And now you’re in a really unique position.

You’re graduating into a world that is perhaps more uncertain than any class before you. A global pandemic? Not to this level since 1918.

This is the time where well-meaning adults will flood you with their thoughts and ideas. And I supposed by writing this blog post, I’m doing the same thing. But here’s where I’m going to veer off the classic commencement speech path. Ready?

Don’t listen to the advice.

Here’s the thing. I’m the youngest child and one of the youngest cousins and have always just been “the little kid” in most scenarios. I grew up looking to my brothers and mentors and teachers with wide eyes. They were the greatest, smartest, kindest people in the world. They still are.

And they gave good advice. Like some of the classic go-tos: Be kind. Drink water. “Wear sunscreen.” (Check it out on YouTube; It’s a classic).

You just graduated. Which means you have scores of people giving advice - both asked for and unsolicited. And some of it will be excellent. But here’s the thing: You know best.

My advice to you is to smile and nod. They mean well. (Smile and nod while you read this too. You know I mean well). And then follow your own advice.

You’ve gotten yourself this far. You’ve survived all your worst days. You might feel lost or uncertain or anxious about the future. And that’s okay. (Most of your favorite adults feel that way too sometimes).

But trust me when I say trust yourself. You know better than anyone what path you should be on. You know better than anyone what fills you with joy and what breaks your heart. You know yourself. So trust yourself.

The world’s a little scary. But I believe in you. More importantly though, I hope you believe in you. Trust your beating heart. You got this.

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